Author Topic: Inglourious Basterds [sic]  (Read 105462 times)

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MacGuffin

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #405 on: August 20, 2009, 12:33:00 AM »
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Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglorious Basterds' is about what could have happened
He admits he is no historian, so story comes well before fact.
Source: Los Angeles Times

Ten years ago, when Quentin Tarantino first sat down to write his own WWII extravaganza, "Inglourious Basterds," a film he referred to as his "men on a mission" saga, he needed to come up with two story staples: a cool group of renegades and a mission. For his rough-edged warriors, he quickly settled on Jewish soldiers -- not the most obvious choice, given the legacy of Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen -- and for his mission, nothing less than revising history in his update of such war film staples as "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Guns of Navarone," "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Great Escape." ¶ With Jews as his tough guys, there would be a certain poetic justice. ¶ "Most of these young soldiers would have been second-generation Americans," Tarantino says. "And they probably still had family in Poland or Czechoslovakia. It was kind of a metaphor of their European grandmothers and grandfathers and aunts and uncles being unable to fight against the Huns. But these were their American sons. Where they had to endure pain, we can inflict it."

On a recent summer day, Tarantino delivers his patter with relish and brio. The 46-year-old director looks disarmingly chipper despite having returned only hours before from barnstorming Europe and Australia promoting the film in which his band of Nazi killers -- the "Basterds" -- mete out justice with bloody Tarantino-style poetics. Dressed in a black and white bowling shirt, he sits on an outdoor swing at his Hollywood Hills home -- a stunning view of his hometown stretched before him. Yet, all that occupies his fertile imagination at the moment are his "Basterds," who maraud through Europe killing and scalping Nazis.

The squad is led by a dashing Southerner, Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), who Tarantino figures cut his teeth on baiting the Klan and who takes pride in his partial Apache heritage, and also includes such idiosyncratic soldiers as Sgt. Donnie Donowitz, a.k.a. "The Bear Jew," who bashes in Nazi heads with his baseball bat and is played by Tarantino buddy and torture-porn director Eli Roth. Ever the equal-opportunity avenger, Tarantino's secondary story line follows Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a Jewish woman who witnessed her family's murder by the Nazis only to reemerge as a movie-theater proprietress with a plan to wreak revenge on the entire German high command.

As it happens, Tarantino isn't Jewish. But why should that make any difference? "I don't think there has to be a reason to have empathy or to live in somebody else's shoes. Don't we all wear the same shoes at one end of the spectrum or the other?"

This said, he infused the Basterds with some old-school Native American fighting tactics, pointing out he is a quarter Cherokee. "I'm actually equating the Jews in this situation, in World War II, with the Indians," he says. "It's not nothing that they're doing Apache resistance. It's not about dying. It's about killing. They ambush their guys. They trick the enemy. It's not a straight-up fight. And then they go and they just completely desecrate the bodies to win a psychological war."

"Inglourious Basterds," with its twisted spelling signaling that it is not an actual remake of director Enzo Castellari's 1978 Italian World War II film "Inglorious Bastards" -- a Tarantino favorite -- is gory yet funny, a cathartic romp through a history significantly rewritten by one of Hollywood's most famous autodidacts, with an almost total recall of cinematic images and story lines.

Tarantino didn't study the actual war much. He didn't bone up on History Channel documentaries or read up on the plight of the Jews. The only research he did was to learn a little bit about barbering because Donowitz was supposed to be a barber -- although, Roth did take it upon himself to invite Tarantino to his first Passover.

Research isn't Tarantino's métier. He basically picks a genre and then let's his imagination roam. "I could have decided to do a western, but this time I decided to do a World War II movie. The sitting down -- the thing that makes me start contemplating it -- usually is that simple," he says. "The fun part isn't obviously to do it like the way it's been done before. It's to imagine what I'll do with it."

But sometimes he gets overwhelmed with abundance, with too many characters and plots climbing out of his head. "Inglourious Basterds" was meant to be his first original screenplay after his Oscar-winning "Pulp Fiction." It didn't quite work out that way. "I was understandably precious," Tarantino explains. "It just got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. I had the opposite of writer's block. I couldn't shut my brain off." He considered turning his growing epic into a multi-part miniseries but was talked out of that by a chance luncheon with director Luc Besson. Finally, in frustration, he just swept all the various piles of pages and notes for "Inglourious Basterds" into a box to make room for "Kill Bill," a different sort of deadly arts epic that grew so big it was turned into two movies.

In the intervening 10 years, he'd occasionally sort the papers in the "Basterds" box, until in 2008, he hauled out the project again and wrote the current incarnation in a mere six months.

It is part of the Tarantino lore that he started his career as a maniacal video-store clerk but before that, he was an acting student who wrote scenes to provide himself with material for classes. He was in his late teens and every week he'd take a three-hour bus ride from his home in Manhattan Beach to an acting class in Toluca Lake, where he told everyone he was 21 so he could go out drinking with his classmates afterward.

"Back then, it wasn't so easy to get scripts," real movie scripts for class, he says. "One of the prerequisites of being a writer, or at least a good writer, is you have to have a really good memory. That's part of your job, to remember things that people say. So, I would go see a movie and I'd just remember the scene. I'd go home right after I saw it or on the bus maybe going home and I'd write the scene down from memory and anything I didn't remember, I filled in the blanks. Then just little by little by little, I started filling in more and more and more blanks without even realizing it. My scenes were legendary; they were literally just pieces of paper and chicken scratch and misspelled words and I'd hand it to some baffled student I'd have in my acting class."

The jig was up, however, when one day he scribbled down scenes from the teleplay of "Marty" (later an Oscar-winning movie) by Paddy Chayefsky and handed it to a close friend who actually had the published screenplay; they compared the two to discover several added Tarantino monologues. "I go, 'Oh, sorry' and he goes, 'phffff, don't be sorry, it's better than Paddy Chayefsky.' Not that I'm saying that it was better than Paddy Chayefsky, but the thing is . . . that was the very first time anybody had complimented me on something I didn't take seriously. I really thought it was worth something. From that day on, I kind of started writing a little bit more seriously."

With "Inglourious Basterds," Tarantino takes liberty again not with a famed writer but with actual history. As he points out, "my characters don't know they're part of history. There is nothing they can't do as far as they're concerned, right?" They just get done what they need to get done. And in so doing, the course of world events is completely changed. So what, Tarantino says with a laugh, "It only has to be plausible."
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pete

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #406 on: August 20, 2009, 01:15:54 AM »
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it was okay.  lotsa good drama - good tension and good acting.  no hero to really like or properly get behind though, and it's the first time I can say that about a tarantino film.  I still liked it though.  I don't think he can make a bad movie.
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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #407 on: August 20, 2009, 04:24:13 PM »
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full marks from Ebert:

"After I saw “Inglourious Basterds” at Cannes, although I was writing a daily blog, I resisted giving an immediate opinion about it. I knew Tarantino had made a considerable film, but I wanted it to settle, and to see it again. I’m glad I did. Like a lot of real movies, you relish it more the next time. Immediately after “Pulp Fiction” played at Cannes, QT asked me what I thought. “It’s either the best film of the year or the worst film,” I said. I hardly knew what the hell had happened to me. The answer was: the best film. Tarantino films have a way of growing on you. It’s not enough to see them once."

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090819/REVIEWS/908199995



brockly

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #408 on: August 21, 2009, 02:12:30 AM »
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i hated death proof, and i've since become impartial to kb2, so my expectations weren't very high. unexpectedly, i got goose bumps during the opening credits and from the very first shot i was reminded why i loved this guy so much. he’s so vividly theatrical. the music and the visuals are interplayed masterfully. the actors are all hyperbolically immersed in their characters. the action/violence, which is far too sparse, is invigorating. it's powerful, self-indulgent cinema.

the film drags a lot, unfortunately. there's far too much dialogue. but it's never boring and there's nearly always a pay-off. tarantino's ego is far from excusable and i wouldn't say his writing is especially intelligent anymore but i can't imagine any film buff not finding some degree of entertainment here. since jb, tarantino has transformed himself so much as a director that the decline in his writing hasn't really impacted the quality of his films for me. though this is no doubt his best screenplay since jb.

spoilers!
my biggest complaint was with the story. i didn't like how the two plots intertwine without any real pay-off. the outcome of the war isn't determined by the basterds and the hot jew, but rather it’s either/or changing the course of history. that's a bit underwhelming. also the film relies too much on tension. it’s great tension but the beat of these scenes becomes a bit repetitive. other than that, it's a winner. :yabbse-thumbup:

SiliasRuby

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #409 on: August 21, 2009, 05:16:37 AM »
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This is his masterpiece and yet not my favorite (that goes to PULP FICTION) but man what a fucking ride.
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Alexandro

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #410 on: August 21, 2009, 11:27:33 AM »
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I don't think he can make a bad movie.

Yes. I watched Death Proof again a couple of nights ago. That one is supposed to be his lowest point and it's still a pretty entertaning, funny, idiosincratic slasher movie. There's plenty of love for cinema in each of his films. Even his guest directed scene in Sin City has that special touch.

Also, he's been getting it pretty bad from the press lately. It seems everyone is rooting for the guy to fail, be humiliated and say I'm sorry. Some of the articles I've read go as far as to mock the way he looks or the way he talks as "creepy". That's just uncalled for and stupid, way more stupid than any ego he may have. It made me root for him to score a home run again, which he has done pretty much each time.

Stefen

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #411 on: August 21, 2009, 11:35:43 AM »
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I listened to him on Elvis Mitchel's podcast and I can't help but love the guy even if I don't want to. Hearing him talk about movies live really is infectious. Reading him talking about movies in print makes him sound pompous, egomaniacal, and jerk-offy but when you hear him speak in his voice and mannerisms it really comes off different. Exuberant even.
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Neil

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #412 on: August 21, 2009, 12:43:18 PM »
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He has an enthusiasm that gets killed by attitudes found close by. Beware.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #413 on: August 21, 2009, 03:47:17 PM »
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After reading the script last year, I had some reservations about how the film would turn out. But the end result on screen turned out much better than I anticipated. Heavily Leone influenced. There are a couple of scenes where the tension just builds and is so thick. And that's where the strength of the film lies - the tension. And on the flip side, there are some great comedic moments too. But I felt I got to know the characters better in the script. However, storywise, it never flails. The great mix of dialogue and acting keeps your attention, especially when haivng to look back and forth between reading subtitles and watching reactions. I would put it the best of his post-Jackie Brown films.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #414 on: August 21, 2009, 07:44:32 PM »
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Tarantino digs into record collection for "Basterds"

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - It's the critical night for the heroine of your comedic-noir-World War II film, the evening when she unspools her plan to set a lethal blaze. As the director, the question is, "What song do you play as she glams herself up for the night?" For Quentin Tarantino, the answer was obvious, and it elicited gasps and laughter from filmgoers at a recent screening: the era-inappropriate but lyrically astute "Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)" by David Bowie.

Tarantino's latest film, "Inglourious Basterds," opened Friday, three days after its accompanying soundtrack arrived on Warner Bros. Records. Following the pattern established with his previous movies, including "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill: Vol. 1," Tarantino uses an off-kilter mix of Ennio Morricone, Ray Charles and Elmer Bernstein, among others, as musical genres to underscore the mayhem onscreen.

Billboard: You have some wild music in "Inglourious Basterds." How did you put it all together?

Quentin Tarantino: Part of my process when I'm making a movie is to just dive into my record collection. What I'm looking for is the rhythm of the movie or the beat of the movie. In the case of, say, "Jackie Brown," that's '70s soul. I'm finding pieces, and that keeps inspiring me to make the movie, actually.

Billboard: Do you write scenes specifically for particular pieces of music?

Tarantino: I am always looking for some cool song that I could use as a big set piece. I'll finish work and I'll go into my record room and I'll put on some song, and literally, I can see it on the screen. I can project myself into a movie theater and I'm watching the scene onscreen and I'm hearing the music and I'm imagining an audience: either an audience of people I know who are digging it or an audience of people I don't know who are digging it -- they're always digging it. (laughs) And it keeps reminding me that I'm making a movie.

Billboard: Talk a little more about your record room.

Tarantino: My record room is set aside pretty much for vinyl. I have CDs, but they're lying around. Any CD I like, I have to buy it three times because I have no one place to put it. It's like a sock, it just gets eaten up by the laundry. In the house that I bought, connected to the bedroom was a little nursery room -- like if you had a newborn and you had them there close to you. I don't have that, so I literally turned it into what looks like a record store. I created bins that are in there, and there are a couple artists I have there by themselves -- but everybody else is broken down by decades, and then all the subgenres that would happen inside those decades.

Billboard: That's really anal-retentive.

Tarantino: It's like a record store! (laughs) In the '60s, there's like a psychedelic section, and then British Invasion, and stuff like that. The '70s would have soul as well, and this or that or the other. But the biggest section, since I've been collecting them since I was a kid, is my soundtrack section. And in the soundtrack section, I go from normal films from A to Z, but then I have certain subgenres that are particularly unique in their music: spaghetti Westerns, a blaxploitation section, a spy movie section and then a motorcycle movie section.

Billboard: Is it easy for you to get the rights for these songs?

Tarantino: It's actually quite easy to get the rights now, because I'll use music that some people haven't heard that much before. Then after my movie comes out, it seems like every commercial in the world buys it. They can double or triple and quadruple their income just by the exposure the movie gets it. That 5.6.7.8's song, "Woo Hoo" (from "Kill Bill: Vol. 1"), seemed like it was on every commercial for a long time.

Billboard: Talk about some of the specifics from "Inglourious Basterds." What was behind the Bowie song?

Tarantino: I've always loved that song and I was always disappointed at how (director) Paul Schrader used it in "Cat People," because he didn't use it -- he just threw it in the closing credits. And I remember back then, when "Cat People" came out, going, "Man, if I had that song, I'd build a 20-minute scene around it. I wouldn't throw it away in the closing credits." So I did. (laughs)

It would be easy enough for me to hire somebody to write "The Ballad of Shosanna" (the heroine of "Inglourious Basterds") if I wanted to, but I don't want my choices to hit the nail on the head. I want them to be glancing blows. The second-generation quality about it makes it more resonant. You're watching that scene and you're hearing the lyrics and you're actually surprised at how appropriate they are to her story. In its own way, I think that makes it play even more like interior monologue. I (played) it on set when we (filmed) it. That's always really cool to do -- you can't do it all the time, because you're probably recording sound at least half the time -- but what's really fun when you do it is, not only do the actors respond to it, the whole crew responds to it. It's like they're watching the movie as we're making it. When you actually play the soundtrack and you can sync something up, the crew gets a glimpse of what the movie is going to be like, and it just thrills them.

Billboard: And you used actual music from some German propaganda films of the era.

Tarantino: In particular, there's a song in there -- the English title of the German song is "I Wish I Were a Chicken" (Ich Wollt Ich Waer Ein Huhn). That's the third one on the soundtrack, with Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch, that's from a German propaganda film -- it's actually a screwball comedy, but it was made under (German propaganda minister Joseph) Goebbels -- that was called "Lucky Kids." And then the German song before that ("Davon Geht Die Welt Nicht Unter") was performed by Zarah Leander, who was a huge, huge star in Nazi Germany. The thing that's very interesting about her is the way Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger's character) is in the movie -- where she's this big German movie star, but she's actually working for England -- there's rumors that Zarah Leander was doing the same thing, except for the Soviet Union.

Billboard: What do Ennio Morricone and Lalo Schifrin, who are both on the soundtrack, mean to you?

Tarantino: When you talk about the maestro (Morricone), you're talking about the greatest film composer that ever lived. Lalo Schifrin -- the first time I knew who he was (when I heard) his soundtrack for "Enter the Dragon," which was so dynamic, and I always thought of him as the action guy. Now this is an adventure story, and I realized if I'm really going to do this genre justice, I have to blow up the guns of the Navarone. (laughs) And being able to use "Tiger Tank" from "Kelley's Heroes" -- that really turned it into an adventure movie. No art-film meditation, but literally an adventure film at that point.

Billboard: How did you decide which of all the songs in the film go on the soundtrack album?

Tarantino: Making the soundtrack album itself is like another version of the movie, and it's not about using everything that you used -- it's about using everything the way that you saw it in the movie. My ultimate thing is, "Can you play it without hitting skip?" If you put it on in your car, which is where most people listen to stuff nowadays, can you just let it play? And I still think of it in terms of albums. I still think of it in terms of side A and side B. (laughs) I'm happy to say that vinyl's making a comeback. I always made a big, big deal that the record companies that come out with my (soundtracks) have to print vinyl ... Warner Bros. has always accepted that commitment to me, that they will always make records for my movies.

Billboard: Are you going to return as a judge on "American Idol" anytime soon?

Tarantino: They have to ask me. (laughs) We'll see what happens. I really had a great time when I was the judge on it, because I was watching the show and I was judging them at home. (laughs) And I wasn't the nice-guy judge, all right? All the celebrity judges were always really kiss-assy, and I was like, "That ain't going to be me. I'm going to be like, 'You suck.'"
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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #415 on: August 22, 2009, 04:03:54 AM »
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Saw it again tonight and it held up even better.

Kal

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #416 on: August 22, 2009, 04:52:18 AM »
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It may be my favorite Tarantino film. It's a stretch, but in a few months after I watch this again I will know. I loved every second of it and was excited and into every word each character was saying. The suspense is great. The acting was terrific, especially Landa, but also the french girl and Brad Pitt was hilariously great. I see that most of you give a pass to Eli Roth, but his stupid fucking face is the only thing that ruined it a little bit for me. Still, he does a good job, but fuck. The music and every sound effect was perfect. Classic Tarantino. I guess I was expecting to hate this so I am way too excited that I felt the exact opposite altogether.

AntiDumbFrogQuestion

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #417 on: August 22, 2009, 09:19:42 AM »
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 Some of the articles I've read go as far as to mock the way he looks or the way he talks as "creepy". That's just uncalled for and stupid, way more stupid than any ego he may have.

(referring to QT)

And from Kal:
"I see that most of you give a pass to Eli Roth, but his stupid fucking face is the only thing that ruined it a little bit for me."


Hahah  Jeez
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, I just think it's funny that the things that CAN'T BE CHANGED about a person are the things that people are complaining about

Isn't that part of the lesson of the movie?  Not to hate because of skin color, looks, voice, orientation, etc.?

Just sayin', that's pretty damn funny it still happens

Gamblour.

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #418 on: August 22, 2009, 10:12:02 AM »
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I went in thinking this would be like The Dirty Dozen or something, based on the trailer (cardinal sin), but it's actually pleasant that it wasn't. If it was that straight forward, following a bunch of guys scalping Nat-zees and such, it might've just been any other movie. But he's really come up with some great stories and characters here. The scene in the basement bar is probably one of the best scenes he's ever filmed.

I think it was almost comical at times how much dialogue there was. I really felt like he was trying to fuck with the audience and see how much they could bear. My only other complaints are that you don't really get to know anyone too well (adding to that, unlike the diverse Dirty Dozen, every one of the Basterds looks the same. Maybe that was the point), and Brad Pitt is still pretty tepid.

Visually it was very beautiful, more so than usual for Tarantino. The opening scene and in front of the movie theater, very aesthetically beautiful. I really liked this.
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modage

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Re: Inglourious Basterds [sic]
« Reply #419 on: August 22, 2009, 11:13:55 AM »
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Quentin Tarantino has been talking about 'Inglourious Basterds' for a long time.  At various points this “men-on-a-mission” movie was set to star Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Adam Sandler, John Travolta, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Eddie Murphy, Leonardo Dicaprio, Simon Pegg and Nastassja Kinski in a script that over 600 pages long.  So it's interesting watching the film and thinking of all the different incarnations the movie went through for Tarantino before he actually made the movie.

The film received a mixed reaction at Cannes, it's trailer featured the sort of aggro-violence usually reserved for Eli Roth's 'Hostel' movies and advance word was that it was very, very talky.  All this coupled with the disappointment of 'Kill Bill Vol. II' and 'Death Proof', is why I approached 'Basterds' with more caution and less enthusiasm than any Tarantino movie before.  And perhaps because of these low expectations I was completely surprised by how much I really really liked the film.

Not without it's problems, the film repeats stylistic flourishes better suited to 'Kill Bill': the Sam Jackson narration, title cards, Ennio Morricone music seem out of place here.  The film features at least 4 major scenes of dialogue set around a table and while each is effective, the repetition becomes a bit tiresome considering the 2 1/2 hour running time.  But the final act of the film is such a riot and perfectly executed (double pun!) that you can't leave the theatre without a smile on your face.

It really works to the film's advantage to see a cast of mostly unknown international actors delivering Tarantino's signature dialogue.  Lines that might have come off more self consciously stlized are given new life by characters speaking them in different languages. Even Brad Pitt, who was worrisome in the trailer, is used sparingly in the film and is hilariously welcome every time he shows up onscreen.  Christoph Waltz is terrifying and iconic as Nazi Colonel Hanz Landa, Mélanie Laurent is the heartbreaking center of the film, all the actors are so good that you really want more of everybody.  (Most of The Basterds are shortchanged here unfortunately.)

While the film doesn't reach the perfection of 'Pulp Fiction' or balls-to-the-wall vision of 'Kill Bill: Vol. I', it does prove Tarantino still has what it takes to thrill and surprise.  Now I can't wait for the next one.
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